If you haven’t seen at least a dozen dorm tour videos, you probably aren’t spending enough time on YouTube. It’s also possible we’re spending too much time on YouTube. Check out our guide below for a list of cute dorm ideas to make your own perfect home away from home!
Either way, how you decorate your dorm can have a big impact on your college experience! If you’re not comfy in your dorm room, you’ll have trouble getting work done and achieving your goals.
There are several essentials for every dorm room. Don’t worry though! You can build your collection of necessities while infusing it with your own personal flair!
Building an Outline
It’s good to first have an idea of how you want to decorate your dorm room. If you have a roommate, you’ll have to decide where the split of the room is. This can help you decide what furnishings to bring with you!
Before you start bulking up on any cute accessories, you’ll want to decide on what style you are going for. A lot of people are going for a minimalist look these days. If you want to keep the kitschy stuff to a minimum, then a minimalist style might be for you.
If you don’t want to commit to any one style or theme, build a colour palette to apply to your room. A palette with one base colour and two or three accent colours is a great starting point for anyone searching for cute dorm ideas to fill their room up with!
An Essential: Bedding
After a long day of studying, you will want to get a good night’s sleep! A comfortable bed can help make this happen.
Many dorm beds are a specific size, so you’ll have to get your sheets to match. Even if you need extra accommodations in your dorm, you still want to have a good looking bed setup. Bring an extra set of bedding so that you can swap them out when you need to do laundry!
If you want to establish a colour palette for your dorm room, this is the best place to start! Sheets can function as a base or accent colours.
A comforter or duvet is necessary to keep you toasty too! Comforters are usually a bit heavier, but a duvet is a lot more customisable. There are lots of duvet covers available to choose from. So, if you like switching up the look of your bed, you should opt for a duvet.
A mattress topper is suggested because dorm mattresses aren’t always the comfiest by themselves. A memory foam topper can make your bed as soft as a cloud!
You’ll want to stock up on pillows too! You’ll probably want a standard pillow, but try adding a few fuzzy faux-fur pillows into the mix too. They’ll add a bit of texture and flair to your new space.
All the Fabrics
Once you get your bedding squared away, it’s time to move on to the other fabrics in your room!
You do not want to wake up on a chilly January morning, go to get out of bed, and have your feet touch a freezing floor! Get a shag rug to avoid this unpleasant experience!
Faux-fur rugs are also super cute and fluffy. Plus, they come in a lot of fun and unique shapes!
Getting one or two throws is a good idea too. If you’re working in bed and don’t want to have to get under the covers just to get warm and cozy, tossing a throw blanket over your shoulders is the perfect solution. Throws are nice too because when they’re not in use, they can rest on the side of a chair or ottoman.
You’ll also want to get curtains for your windows. If you’re sharing a room with someone, you might want to make this decision with them! Neutral colours like white, grey, or black are good colours when you’re searching for a compromise.
A lot of college students use tapestries as wall decorations. If you have the room and aren’t big on posters, a wall tapestry is an interesting alternative!
Cute Dorm Ideas for Seating
Most dorm rooms come with a desk and chair included, but the chairs are rarely very comfortable. It’s a good idea to bring your own desk chair with you!
If you’re going to be doing a lot of work at your desk find a chair that you can recline in, preferably one with a padded seat. Alternatively, you can bring a seat cushion with you—may be one that goes along with your colour scheme?
You’ll also want some seating for when you want to kick back and relax! A bean bag is perfect for those days when you need to take a break from studying and just chill out with a good book or some games on your phone.
Larger bean bags are great if you plan on having friends over for movie nights and want a bigger space to all recline on. They can also be stored underneath your bed, so you can bring them out only when you need them!
Dorm rooms aren’t always the most spacious, especially if you have one or more roommates. This means you usually have to get creative with storage.
One of the most common ways to do this is by lofting your bed and getting storage containers to fit underneath it. You might even opt to get a short dresser and tuck it under your bed. If your bed can loft this high, you might even be able to fit your desk and a chair under it!
Floating shelves have become very trendy, so if you’re allowed to hang things on your wall, give these beauties a shot! They’re best for smaller knick-knacks or books, but larger ones might be suitable for bigger pieces.
You’ve probably seen over-the-door organisers. These are nice for tiny accessories or shoes. If you don’t have a lot of space for things like brushes, hair styling products, or makeup, these can be really useful!
You can get similar storage hangings for your closet. Another great option is storage cubes. If you want to keep your summer clothes packed away but easily accessible, storage cubes are a good choice!
Another storage unit you’ll want is a laundry hamper. Yes, it’s storage—for your dirty clothes! Collapsible hampers are your best friend. If you don’t need them, you can just tie them and slip them under your bed or in between your desk and the wall. Hampers usually come in solid colours, so find one that will run well with your colour scheme!
Creating a Tech-Friendly Room
If you’re sharing a dorm room, you might want to get a TV with your roommate. Of course, a lot of us watch shows on our computers these days. If that’s you, make sure you have a comfy place to watch your programs—your bed, your desk, or just camped out on the floor.
If you’re big on music, consider getting a speaker that changes colour. These cool speakers can completely change the atmosphere of a room! At night these speakers can create some super cool vibes while you are blasting your tunes.
If the alarm clock on your phone just doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, you might need an old-fashioned alarm clock! Alarm clocks can be pretty cute and add to the trendy vibe of a dorm room, so you might want one just for the aesthetic! Plus, it’s nice to be able to look across the room for the time, if you don’t want to reach for your phone.
If you’re bringing any gaming systems with you, get a storage bin to keep it in when you aren’t using it. It will declutter your space and you won’t have to worry about accidentally tripping over cords in the early morning!
Get Your Glow On
Lighting is critical for having a cute dorm room. Overhead lighting in dorm rooms is usually glaring and ugly, so you’re going to want to bring some lighting of your own with you to substitute for it.
First, you’ll want a desk light. Some dorm desks come with a light attached, but that’s not guaranteed. A stout desk lamp is perfect for any late-night paper-writing. Desk lamps in solid colours and pastel shades are great for any college student!
You might want a larger standing lamp as general lighting for the room, but you might want to get by without one. They can take up a lot of space!
As a nicer alternative, get some string lights! They look beautiful up against the wall over your bed! There are so many options when it comes to string lights too. If you have some memorabilia (concert tickets, polaroids, etc.) you want to flaunt, you can get the lights that also function as mini clothespins.
Another string light favourite is tiny stars. You can also keep is traditional and get multi-coloured or white Christmas lights too! We’re fans of ’em all!
You might be a candle fan, but a lot of dorms prohibit them. What’s the next best thing? Get a few of those fake tealights, and set them up in mason jars. You get the twinkly appeal of a candle, none of the fire hazards, and all of the charm that a rustic mason jar provides!
A Little Mother Nature
Break the stale air in the room by bringing in a leafy green! Potted plants, hanging plants, or just a tiny orchid for your desk: they can all bring a burst of life into your dorm room!
If you’re worried about committing to a plant baby, invest in some succulents or cacti. They require less frequent watering, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting to give them a drink before you leave for your 8:00 A.M. class. Orchids are also pretty low maintenance, so if you want some colour along with your leaves then buy a teacup orchid.
And if you’ve killed every plant you’ve ever owned? No worries, that’s what artificial ones are for! There are a lot of super-realistic looking greenery and succulents that you can decorate your room with.
If you opt for the artificial route, you can brighten up the air a bit by investing in an aroma diffuser. It’ll freshen up the smell of your room, and you can switch up the scents whenever you’re craving something different.
Adding Personal Touches
Probably the best way to create a cute dorm and make it your own is by infusing it with your own personal mementos and style. This means bringing along stuff you probably already own!
If you’re crafty, you might want to try your hand at building a photo wall. These can be a little time consuming, so clear your plans for an afternoon and commit to taping photos side by side on your wall.
A bulletin board or dry erase board is another item that can help you add some personality to your space. If you’re artsy, you might want a dry erase board to plan your week out in a creative way. Bulletin boards are good for anyone who wants to tack up pamphlets from the fall play or photos from back home!
Of course, if you’re a big movie or music fan, you likely have some posters lying around that you’ll want to hang up in your room. Use 3-5 posters—too many will make the room small, and it will be too visually busy to appreciate the individual posters anyways!
Pulling It All Together
There is some planning that goes into creating the perfect dorm room, but if you have a vision then you can make it happen! These cute dorm ideas will give you the building blocks to craft your own personal dorm style.
With such a cute dorm room, you won’t even want to leave to go to class! But you probably should… don’t worry, your cuddly blankets and bean bag chair will be waiting for you when you come back to your room!
For more style and design articles, check out the rest of our blog!